By ROB HAMILTON
After his Cardington Pirates finished 4-6 last year in his first year as head coach, Jerry Williams has his sights set high for his second season.
“As it is for every season, our goal is to be Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division champions,” he said. “This squad will bring a different level of competitiveness. The key is to stay healthy.”
Williams returns a lot of athletes from last year’s team, including four who earned postseason recognition. Senior LB/RB Trey Williams was a first-team pick in the league and Central District and took third-team honors as an All-Ohio player. Junior quarterback Luke McCarrell was an honorable mention pick in the league and district, while both senior WR/DB Devin Fridley and sophomore RB/SS Daniel Kill were honorable mention Central District selections.
Also returning are seniors David Cain, Johnny Levings, Jake Foor, Jarrod Fair, Tyler Castle and Brock Shade; juniors Devin Pearl, Skyler Bowling, Christian Huffman and Scott Osborne and sophomore Tyler Villella.
The team did graduate a few key players in Cole Hess, Mike Taha and Cole Blackwell. Hess was a second-team MOAC pick, as well as a first-team mention in the district and honorable mention in the state, as a wide receiver, defensive back and special teams returner.
The coach is expecting a number of players to step up this year, though, citing Ethan Stambaugh (OL/DL), Pearl (WR/DB), Villella (OL/LB), Clayton Clark (WR/DB) and Tyler Patterson (OL/DL) as guys he’s looking for big contributions from.
In the conference, Williams cites Highland, Centerburg and Fredericktown as the top teams in the Blue Division. He also mentioned Northmor as a potential sleeper team.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS